Kenya: Fake Opinion Polls Threat to Democracy, Cohesion – Polls Agency

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has urged the media to interrogate different opinion polls on the outcome of the August general election.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marjan Hussein elaborated that fake opinion polls have a huge potential risk for interfering with democracy and cohesion as the nation heads to the polls.

“Indeed opinion polls may pose a threat to democracy and cohesion if they thrive in misinformation of facts and distortion of news. It should be known to everyone that fake news spreads very fast like wild fires,” he stated.

Marjan pointed out that political opinion polls play a critical in the democracy as they help set the agenda for the electorate in debate and decision making.

He however warned that fake opinion polls with no basis of a scientific research can destroy the fabric of democracy in the nation especially in high contested elections leading to political instability.

“We therefore urge the media and pollsters to interrogate their news before publishing. The idea of interrogating news comprehensively can save lives and save the economy. We would therefore not spend a lot of time in nation rebuilding,” Marjan stated.

With less than a month to the polls, IEBC called upon the media to play fairly in disseminating information of opinion polls of different opinion players to avoid leaning towards any political formation.

“The political players have worked to adopt political pollsters in order to advance their own agenda. While this is datable the commission expects media and opnion pollsters to be free fair and independent,” the IEBC CEO said.

Recently, Kenyans have been treated to contrasting opinion poll survey results, some favoring the Azimio la Umoja coalition and others favoring Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

This is nothing unprecedented as we saw it was the same scenario as the nation headed towards the 2017 General Election.

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